The Northern Regional Director of the National Population Council, Mr. Alhassan Issahaku Amadu, has expressed concern about the problems high rate of polygamous and serial marriages are creating in the area.
He said polygamy has made some men opt out of their marriages when they were faced with economic difficulties. He said this has created so much problems, including child abandonment.
He made the observation in Tamale on Friday, at a youth forum under the theme: “The world at 7 billion, population growth and development implications in the Northern Region”. The forum was organized by Curious Minds, a non-governmental group, to discuss population and development and its impact on the youth in the Region.
Mr. Amadu also stressed the importance of using contraceptives or other family planning methods to control population growth. He said the current population of the Region stood at 2,468,557 at 35.6 per cent rate, making it the fourth most populated region in the country.
He said the Region was the least in the use of contraceptives due to religious and cultural beliefs, which largely explained the high population growth.
A speech was read on behalf of the Northern Region Minister, Mr. Moses Bukari Mabengba, which said, population growth placed a huge responsibility on government to provide development and infrastructure to correspond with the rate of growth, saying, population potentials could best be harnessed for sustainable development.
Mr. Thomas Azure, Northern Regional Statistician, said the 2010 population census of Ghana puts the provisional figure at 24,223,431 with that of the Region been 2,468,577 He said the relation between population growth and economic development was complex.
He called for more investment in the human resource development of the nation to ensure the proper development of individuals.
In Ghana, polygamous marriages are illegal under civil law, though are arguably considered to be legal under customary law and Sharia law. Despite this exceptions, there have been no reports of a legally contracted polygamous marriage in Ghana; and are considered to be “de facto” illegal. An estimated 22% of Ghanaian women live polygamously.